March 5, 2013

Gestural Control of Modular Synthesizer via Kinect

Video game developers should take some advice from controller makers, and the other way around as well.  Just look at video game systems like the Nintendo Wii.  The accelerometers used in their Wiimotes are phenomenal (or maybe it just seems like magic to anyone who isn’t in the know), and they can accurately express the movements of a human hand.  The little bit of lag time between a human input and the actual response is negated by the types of games that are played.  This means that gamers will not notice this latency when playing something like ping pong – but a musician will.

Latency is always in the back of the mind of a digital musician.  Whenever a human touch needs to be translated into a digital movement, it needs to be done quickly.  Controllers have been built with a sense of urgency surrounding that idea, but it can still be improved more.  Hackers who add MIDI connectivity to their Guitar Hero guitars and Wiimotes can only go so far, before the technology itself becomes the limiting factor.  Having control over you music without using a keyboard is cool, but the latency is crippling if it is not somehow optimized to work with a quickness.